These 5 tips will help even the most introverted of lawyers to grow their practices build strong and supportive professional connections.
As a solo or small firm attorney, networking and socializing with peers and clients is the primary way to grow your firm. Which usually requires you to attend a lot of events. This can be a bit of a challenge for many lawyers who tend to be more introverted in nature.
When discussing how being an introvert affects an attorney’s networking abilities, it’s important to note the difference between being shy and being an introvert. According to Merriam-Webster, shy is feeling nervous and uncomfortable about meeting or talking to people. And Psychology Today says introverts are drained by social encounters and energized by solitary, often creative pursuits. Essentially, many introverts socialize easily; however, they just strongly prefer not to.
Introverts can sometimes feel that they could never be comfortable giving a sales pitch, or networking to find clients. But a little education, training and determination can a long way toward removing those unnecessary mental barriers.
Solo and small firm lawyers, especially those who identify as introverts, can use the tips below to learn and practice the techniques they need to build and nurture relationships with potential clients, current clients and referral sources.
Get a Helpful and Honest Mentor
Every Solo or small firm lawyer, especially an introvert, can benefit from the perspective of another lawyer, ideally one who has prior experience of running their own law firm.
As we all can attest, sometimes asking for help can be the difference in malpractice rates for the following year. It goes without saying that you cannot practice law in a vacuum. Interaction is just as necessary as finding the right case law when it comes to being a successful solo attorney. Plus the right relationship can also come with potential referrals and cocounsel opportunities that will only help you to grow your practice.
Asking someone to be your mentor is not a sign of weakness, and most mentors love to help.
Get The Most Out of What You Already Have.
We all already have our own little support group, made up of our friends, family, and social connections. Take some time to think about how some or all of these people might be able to help, and make a sincere effort to turn these connections into win-win business relationships. Save yourself the stress of trying to go out and meet new people and make new connections when the ones that you have already built might be able to do the job for you.
Network In A Way That Best Fits You
Networking is the best way to build relationships with other lawyers that will result in new business. But to make sure you are using your time in the best way, you need to ensure you’re networking the right way. This can mean networking within lawyer only networking groups, or within groups of professionals that share your ideal client.
Another idea is to try networking online. Introverts can make great connections by focusing on networking on social media. You can build relationships by sharing content you think others may be interested in, commenting on their shares, and sending them personal messages with questions or comments. Making the connection online first makes it much easier to grow that relationship when you meet in person.
Let The Internet Be Extroverted For You
When starting a blog or publishing on the Internet, you don’t have to be a social butterfly to build an attentive audience and be recognized as an expert. At the same time, building that blog will help bring people to you that are already excited and understanding of what you are doing and trying to achieve. Essentially, by posting helpful content, and participating in online conversations and social channels, you will find that productive relationships emerge naturally.
Join a Mastermind Group With Lawyers Similar To Yourself
In life, as well in business, often two heads (or more) are better than one. This is part of the reason why lawyers do so well in mastermind groups. Even though many of the lawyers in mastermind groups might be at similar stages in their professional careers, often each member will have a different area of expertise when it comes to business skills.
If your business development strength is in online marketing, find other lawyers that you can not only help with your knowledge and skills, but will help you expand and grow your skills in other areas that you’re less familiar, such as networking or how to hire the right paralegal.